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A source very close to Richardson told ESPNCleveland.com's Will Burge on Saturday that the team had informed the running back he will be held out of action until August. This would mean Richardson will miss at least a portion of training camp.
The source told Burge that the team is being “ultra-cautious” with Richardson’s injury because they are worried it could develop into a stress fracture. The source cited Kevin Ware, the basketball player from Louisville whose leg snapped on a seemingly routine play, as the worst case scenario that this injury could develop into.
Richardson maintained last week during OTAs that he could participate in mini-camp and OTAs if the team would allow him and pointed to the fact that he was on the stationary bikes during the portion open to the media. One source told ESPN Cleveland, however, that there were days Richardson wasn’t even allowed “off the (trainers) table.”
The source close to Richardson also told Burge that he has been taking medication for migraines. The source said the migraine medication combined with not being able to do a full weight lifting program has also caused Richardson to lose weight over the past two weeks.
The Browns are expected to start training camp in mid-to-late July. At this point it looks as though the start date of camp will determine how much time Richardson may miss.
This isn't great news for a guy who just told the world just days ago that he won't be hampered by injuries this season.
"Injury-prone is not going to be me," he told the Cleveland Plain Dealer last Friday. "It's just a mindset and I know that's not me."
The story at the time suggested that Richardson suffered the strain in practice the week before.
He also said this won't be like last year, when he had a knee scope in training camp and then suffered broken ribs midseason.
"I know in my mind, everybody knows it's not going to be near like last year being hurt and injury-(prone)," he said. "I can't wait to get back up and running. (Missing time is) terrible, man."
Richardson further stated the injury wasn't enough of a concern to warrant an MRI.
According to Plain Dealer staffer Mary Kay Cabot, head coach Rob Chudzinski said Richardson was "coming along," but that they would wait until this week to determine if he'll participate in the mandatory mini-camp Tuesday through Thursday.
Now we all know the answer to that.
How does something that was characterized as a "muscle strain" and "no big deal" turn into concerns about a stress fracture?
Stay tuned. ... I'll be following up on Richardson as needed. The situation is obviously of great fantasy interest -- especially with Norv Turner running Cleveland's offense. Turner has a very strong track record when it comes to using running backs. Richardson seems to be a great fit.
But only if he's healthy.